I hope this Superintendent Update for May 2022 finds you and yours well. It is that fantastic time of year again. It’s May! The important month where we educate, celebrate, and increase awareness of mental health. Mental Health Awareness Month is also referred to as “Mental Health Month” and has been observed in May in the United States since 1949, reaching millions of people in the United States through the media, local events, and screenings.
Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to contribute to her or his community.
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
I will be posting something important about mental health throughout the month of May in an effort to raise awareness... Please partner with us in raising awareness of “Mental Health Month.” After all, it will only prove beneficial to each and every one of us to raise awareness - so that we may continue our journey together in a safe and healthy manner focused upon “teaching and learning with purpose!”
Enrollment: Our enrollment as a regional school district has steadied. As of this morning, we have 1409 students enrolled within our district. David Prouty High School has 317 students enrolled; Knox Trail Middle School has 404 students; Wire Village School has 422 students; and East Brookfield Elementary School has 240 students including 98 students enrolled for the "Cubs Corner" Preschool!
Personnel: Open positions for summer and fall of 2022 have begun to be posted within the district. If you are interested in becoming a part of our family, please continue to check back and apply at: https://www.schoolspring.com
Covid-19 Update: As of this morning, we have had a total of 519 confirmed cases of Covid-19 within our schools. We have had 446 students and 73 staff members test positive for Covid-19, to date. Please remain vigilant and adhere to the safety protocols for everyone’s benefit so we may keep our school house doors open. Please continue to work together with us - to maintain our health and safety protocols throughout the school year with frequent hand washing, disinfecting, test and stay as well as masking.
“At-Home” Antigen Testing Program for Enrolled Staff and Students Extended: Last month, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) in partnership with the Department of Public Health (DPH) approved our application to participate in the at-home antigen testing program as well as the diagnostic and routine pool testing program. To learn more about the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Updated Covid-19 testing program, click this link.
Family Responsibilities for Health and Safety Reminder
As mentioned above, parents / families play a critical role in supporting the culture of health and safety in our schools. As an important reminder, please keep your child home if they have been identified as a close contact with someone diagnosed with Covid-19. If you or someone in your household has tested positive for Covid-19, please notify your child’s school nurse or principal, who can help guide you with this process.
Parents should perform daily Covid-19 symptom checks before leaving home. Students should stay home if they are having any one symptom of Covid-19, as indicated below. The following symptoms were taken from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) website.
- Fever (100.0 Degrees Fahrenheit or above)
- Cough (not due to other known cause)
- Lower respiratory symptoms (difficulty breathing, shortness of breath)
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Headache when in combination with other symptoms
- Fatigue/weakness, when in combination with other symptoms
- Muscle aches or body aches
- Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies) when combined with other symptoms/ If your child has chronic allergies, please request a note from your child’s physician indicating such.
*Please notify your child’s school principal or school nurse if you have any difficulties following any of these guidelines.
Smithville Road Closed (4/18/2022 – 5/30/2022). The Town of Spencer Water Department is scheduled to replace an existing watermain and water service piping on Smithville Road between Meadow Road and Pleasant Street. Tentative Start Date is April 18, 2022 and the duration are expected to last approximately 6 weeks (05/30/22).
Construction hours will be Monday – Friday 7am-5pm. During this period (and between these hours), The road will be closed and through traffic will be detoured around Smithville Road. Staff will assist residents in and around the construction site during the day. Temporary Water Shut Offs will occur for residents in the vicinity. Advanced notice for affected residents will occur to the extent possible.
We thank you in advance for your patience during construction. Please contact the Spencer Water Department office with any questions at 508-885-7525.
David Prouty High School Update: Due to the three days of school missed as a result of the roof issues in Building “C;” and HVAC issues in “B” Building at David Prouty HS from February, we will be holding our make-up days during exams in the final week of school - as half days - on Friday, June 17th, Tuesday, June 21st, and Wednesday, June 22nd...
Please look for further updates from the building administration, guidance department and faculty on the specifics regarding the exam schedule. Given this information, the final day of school for David Prouty High School will be Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022.
MSBA Update: Our School Building Committee recently had the honor and privilege of presenting our David Prouty High School “Add/Renovation” Project to the Exchange Club, and Howe Village. Both events provided a great deal of information on our progress with the schematic design. A rendering of our proposed David Prouty High School "Addition/Renovation" Project is illustrated above.
Our School Building Committee meetings take place on the third Thursday of each month. These meetings provide a great deal of information regarding our proposed “Addition/Renovation” of David Prouty High School. Our next meeting of the David Prouty High School Building Committee is planned to take place on Thursday, May 19th, 2022 at 6:00pm at the Wire Village School. All are welcome to these important in-person meetings.
Finally, if you are unable to attend any of our meetings, yet want to learn more and stay informed, our David Prouty High School Building Committee has created an active website filled with our most up-to-date efforts. You can access this information anytime by going to: https://dphsbuilding.com.